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Weyburn Rotary Club to mark 90th with gala supper

Hospital Foundation to benefit from proceeds

The Weyburn Rotary Club is celebrating 90 years of service to the community, and are hoping many residents from the community will join them in marking this milestone along with giving support to the Weyburn Hospital Foundation.The celebration will be held on Saturday, June 12, at McKenna Hall, starting with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and the supper at 6:30 p.m. The anniversary presentation will take place at 8 p.m., followed by the entertainment.The entertainment will feature the Comps STARS Show Choir, and the Weyburn Mens Chorus, as each group will perform separately, and then will combine for a surprise performance together.All of the proceeds from the celebration will go towards the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation, which is the fundraising organization for a new acute-care hospital for Weyburn and area.Not only are we celebrating our anniversary, we want to continue to give to the community, so its a double-celebration, said Joanne Thompson, organizer of the gala evening for the Rotary Club. Tickets are $50 a plate, and a charitable receipt will be given for a portion of the ticket from the Hospital Foundation.The anniversary presentation will include greetings from the District Governor for District 5550, Nancy Morris, as well as from the governor-elect for the district, Harvey Hanson, followed by an induction of new members to the Weyburn club. A DVD presentation will be shown about the Rotary Club, showing where the club has come from, where it is now and what its future will be.Explanations of what Rotary is all about and what the members do and work towards will also be provided throughout the evening.I think itll be a great evening, and I hope the community of Weyburn will come out and support the Hospital Foundation along with us, said Thompson.The Weyburn Rotary Club was formed on Feb. 18, 1920, and was officially registered with the International Association of Rotary Clubs on April 1 of 1920, only 15 years after the establishment of the Rotary movement in Chicago.The first executive of the Rotary Club included Inspector C.C. Raven as the first president; Jack Mertz as secretary; George McCuaig as vice-president; and directors T.H. Hilliar, S.D. Boylan, R.M. Mitchell, R.J. Armit, P.A. Stuart, F. Heard and P.J. Losier.In this the 90th year of the club, the current executive includes president Don Horner, president-elect Gary Anderson (for 2011), secretary Ray Hamm, and treasurer committee Darrell Yakimowski, Garnet Hart and Ron Milleker. The service committee chairs are, club, Joanne Thompson; community service, Dennis McRae; vocational-youth, Bob King; and international, Doug Loden.Historically, Weyburns Rotary Club has been responsible for many charitable ventures and projects which have benefitted the community, starting from the year they became a club, as they assisted in the opening of the Weyburn Mental Hospital in 1920.They hosted minstrel shows as one of their early fundraisers, and began to sponsor local groups and activities such as swine and calf clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, summer playground programs and ice carnivals, and they helped organize the first-ever Carol Festival in Weyburn in 1947; the proceeds of that first festival was used to buy a projector used by the three local schools, Souris, Haig and Assiniboia.We have an important role to play in the community, and have played, since the inception of the club in 1920, said president Horner.Some of the ways Rotary continues to play a role in the community are through such events, groups and projects as the Care-A-Van Society, which Rotary has supported since its inception; the Weyburn Music Festival in March each year; Meals on Wheels (which are delivered by Rotary members among others), and they have contributed heavily to the Tatagwa Parkway, both with funds towards paving the trails and planting of trees, and with work parties with volunteers in the park.Other community supports include the Soo Line Historical Museum. We recently gave a significant amount to help them maintain their operations. Were going to make sure theyre around for posterity, said Horner, adding the club also has close relations with the Salvation Army (Capt. Mike Mailman is one of their newest members), and in the last year or so, the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation.We were one of the starter groups of the foundation, and we have given them a couple donations already, said Horner, pointing out they are also receiving the proceeds of the Centennial supper.The club is also a community partner with the Weyburn Comprehensive School, as Rotary supports their annual fowl supper and the STARS Show Choir, as well as offering two $1,500 scholarships, and the student exchange program. Since 1975, about 24 Weyburn youth have gone out to 12 countries, while the same number from about 10 countries have spent one-year exchanges with families here. This year, students Gene Irwin and Kate Andrews are going out for a year, and two students will be coming to Weyburn.The MS Walk is organized by the Rotary Club each year, and a number of club members also take part in it.If a group needs assistance, well talk it over and if it seems to be a worthy cause, well help out, added Horner, giving as examples Weyburn Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Minor Hockey, Weyburn Combo Bowlers, the Souris School Centennial Committee and the Humane Society.They are also supporters of the Weyburn Legion, as their weekly luncheon meetings are held every Thursday in the Legions Vimy Room, plus the club has recently donated towards their elevator lift and towards other capital projects.On top of all these local groups and causes, they are also involved in helping causes on an international level, said Horner.Two-thirds of every dollar we raise in fundraisers go back into the community. One thing about Rotary is we are international, and we take our international obligations very seriously, he said, explaining one major project involving all Rotarians worldwide is the End Polio Now project, which has evolved to include the Bill Gates Foundation as partners. There are now only a few countries where there is polio, and all Rotary clubs around the world contribute to that.With the recent disasters in Haiti and China, Rotary International also has a shelter box program, in which a box is provided that includes a tent able to sleep up to 10 people, plus utensils and items for eating and living.Other international projects include water supply projects in impoverished countries, wheelchairs for those in the Third World (through Craig Lenz foundation), and building schools in places like Afghanistan.Besides students who go out on exchanges, two couples from Weyburn (three of whom are Rotary members) just returned from a friendship exchange to Turkey, Mal and Delaine Barber, and Duane and Lorrie Schultz; they were there from May 19 until June 4.

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